Gas-sieving zeolitic membranes fabricated by condensation of precursor nanosheets

Mostapha Dakhchoune, Luis Francisco Villalobos, Rocio Semino, L. M. Liu, Mojtaba Rezaei, Pascal Schouwink, Claudia Esther Avalos, Paul Baade, Vanessa Wood, Yu Han, Michele Ceriotti, Kumar Varoon Agrawal

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90 Scopus citations


The synthesis of molecular-sieving zeolitic membranes by the assembly of building blocks, avoiding the hydrothermal treatment, is highly desired to improve reproducibility and scalability. Here we report exfoliation of the sodalite precursor RUB-15 into crystalline 0.8-nm-thick nanosheets, that host hydrogen-sieving six-membered rings (6-MRs) of SiO4 tetrahedra. Thin films, fabricated by the filtration of a suspension of exfoliated nanosheets, possess two transport pathways: 6-MR apertures and intersheet gaps. The latter were found to dominate the gas transport and yielded a molecular cutoff of 3.6 Å with a H2/N2 selectivity above 20. The gaps were successfully removed by the condensation of the terminal silanol groups of RUB-15 to yield H2/CO2 selectivities up to 100. The high selectivity was exclusively from the transport across 6-MR, which was confirmed by a good agreement between the experimentally determined apparent activation energy of H2 and that computed by ab initio calculations. The scalable fabrication and the attractive sieving performance at 250–300 °C make these membranes promising for precombustion carbon capture.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNature Materials
StatePublished - Oct 5 2020


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